Mary Swander is the author of two earlier books of poems, Succession (1979) and Driving the Body Back (1986). She has published a variety of writing widely, in such magazines as The Nation, The New Yorker and Poetry. Her dramatic adaptation of Driving the Body Back and her coauthored musical Dear Iowa have been produced throughout the Midwest and on Iowa Public Television. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and she has been the recipient of a number of grants and awards, including one from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Literary Arts Award from the Chicago Public Library and the Nation-Discovery Award. She is a native Iowan and an associate professor at Iowa State University. As an avid gardener, she has written for National Gardening Magazine, and is the coauthor (with Jane Staw) of a book of interviews with Midwestern gardeners, Parsnips in the Snow (1990).